I Haven’t Been Through Nothin’

I found out my friend’s mother died today. It wasn’t that unexpected. Her mother had brain cancer for over a year, I think. It is extra sad because my friend’s brother suffered from depression and dove in front of an eighteen wheeler back in ’99. That was the week we were opening SubUrbia in Richmond. My friend played Sooze and had a monologue talking about her brother killing himself. It was like watching someone have a nervous breakdown night after night. I’ve never seen a person be so brave. I think it would have crushed most anybody else I know. I don’t know if I could have pulled that one off and am glad that I haven’t had to find out.

My friend came to New York. I ran into her while I was working a lousy job on the Upper East Side. I saw her and thought she looked like a more haggard and much older version of my friend. Turns out it was her and the reason she looked worse for wear was because she had just spent several days in a make-shift jail on the West Side Highway for protesting the Republican Convention at Madison Square Garden. She had her shoulder injured and was cuffed for something like 50 hours. She also started her period and wasn’t allowed to care for it. Turns out we had been living four blocks away from each other for a year. She would frequently visit her friend who lived across from my building and was dying of skin cancer.

It was good to reconnect with her. We did our first play together 11 years ago. We never had more than a hug or that European-style both cheek kiss but had a pact to marry if neither of us were by 30 or to have children if neither of us had by 40. Well, I ruined the former by eloping with someone not right for me at 28. It lasted less than 9 months. I refer to it as the thing I did in my 20s. She ruined the latter by becoming pregnant last year and moved with her boyfriend back to Richmond to be close to her mother. My friend was due yesterday. Her mother died before getting to see the child.

I would like to ask the universe to please take the “kick me” sign off my friend’s back. Give her a healthy baby and some much needed and deserved joy. Please. She is a good person.

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